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  #1  
Old December 26th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Chris
1997 Defender 90 SW
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Door latch issues...

I'm a new D90 SW owner and have already run into a few issues that I need to address. I've been trying to work on them the last few days since picking up the car.

First, the driver's door pops open from fully latched to partially latched. I adjusted the strike pin towards the outside of the car as far as it would go and seems to have made the issue worse. It does not fully latch at all any more. I tried other pin positions and removal of shims with no joy. I've tried to position it back as close as possible to how it was originally. Then I made a small incision in the weather stripping and removed a solid piece from inside the bend above the latch, thinking that the cold had made the rubber to hard to compress. Didn't help either.

Are there any other things I should try?

Also running into a heater fan and headlights that do not work - one thing at a time. Thank God the search button doesn't charge money per use...

-Chris
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  #2  
Old December 26th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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Scott
1997 D90 ST #1444
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Welcome to the site...

There was a thread where JimC set up his strike plates on his NAS 110. You maybe be able to find that thread a little help.

Headlight switches are a common problem. Sometimes you can play with them and find a place where the lights will turn on. Mine have been toast for 4 years, but, there is a place where they catch and will work. British Pacific has them for under $50, or did a few years back. Once you install a new one, you need to add a relay into the system. Expeditionexchange.com has the ARB kit, but you should be able to make your own.
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  #3  
Old December 29th, 2010, 01:43 AM
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Chris
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Thanks for the info, Scott. I've been looking through JimC's 6000+ posts to find the right one. No luck, yet. The door is driving me crazy.

I was able to get the headlights working - involved taking the switch apart and fixing a contact bridge. You might give that a shot if the lights work only in a certain spot, especially if it happens to be right between the 2nd and 3rd click.
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  #4  
Old December 29th, 2010, 02:11 AM
nwerring
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Niels Werring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortyTwo
Thanks for the info, Scott. I've been looking through JimC's 6000+ posts to find the right one. No luck, yet. The door is driving me crazy.

I was able to get the headlights working - involved taking the switch apart and fixing a contact bridge. You might give that a shot if the lights work only in a certain spot, especially if it happens to be right between the 2nd and 3rd click.
Hello,
I usually have the same problems with the door and light switch from time to time... Living in Norway, the door issue usually shows up in the early winter. The door gaskets/seals usually gets very hard when the temperature drops. The gas stations here all sell Sillicone oil to spray into key holes to keep them from freezing up, and another Sillicone oil to smear onto the gaskets to keep them as soft as possible.

On the newer full doors with the automatic doorlocks, it's even worse... I ended up tearing the remote door lock mechanism off, and installed the "good" old manual doorlocks.

The light switch issue is very common. If you take the light switch apart, you see how unbeleivably silly the switch is put together...
I allways have a new spare main light and a spare dim/dip switch at home.

Good luck.

Rgds,
Niels
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  #5  
Old December 29th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Jake K.
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I know you don't want to hear it...but put everything back where it was(shims,location,ect) and try with the door open,use a screwdriver to mimick the latch post and lube the snot out of the door latch mechanism with some type of spray lube(HHS2000,WD40,PB Blaster). With the screw driver...latch and unlatch the mechanism a few time and see if that helps. It's normally neglect that causes these symptoms. When you change your oil...lube all latches and grease the u-joints since they get neglected by most techs/mechanics. Simple preventative maintenance will go along way with these rigs.
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  #6  
Old December 29th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roverchef View Post
I know you don't want to hear it...but put everything back where it was(shims,location,ect) and try with the door open,use a screwdriver to mimick the latch post and lube the snot out of the door latch mechanism with some type of spray lube(HHS2000,WD40,PB Blaster). With the screw driver...latch and unlatch the mechanism a few time and see if that helps. It's normally neglect that causes these symptoms. When you change your oil...lube all latches and grease the u-joints since they get neglected by most techs/mechanics. Simple preventative maintenance will go along way with these rigs.
Thanks for the suggestion. Not sure why you'd think I wouldn't want to hear it, it sounds like a solid idea and an easy one to try. I had already put everything back to the way it was before, seeing that none of it worked.

Headed outside to try this now.

------ Follow up post added December 29th, 2010 01:08 PM ------

Tried the suggestion, but it didn't fix the problem. It did lead me to find the following:

I could pop the door latch with a screwdriver from fully closed to partially close with relative ease.It didn't seem to take much effort at all and leads me to think that outward pressure from the door frame is causing the problem. I removed the weather stripping and the door latched fully. A decent tug popped it back out though.

I could not do the same with the passenger door. With a screwdriver I could not dislodge the latch from the fully closed position.

Given these findings, I'm inclined to think that the problem is really with the latch itself and the ease at which it goes from fully closed to partially closed. Does anyone know if the tension in that part of the latch is adjustable and may have just loosened over time? I'll take a closer look myself when I'm not getting sleeted upon!
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  #7  
Old December 29th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Neil McCauley
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Mabye its the latch itself, take off all the seals and then close it and try opening to the partial setting your talking about, if it does it again and was fully closed than you should look into buying a new latch, I bought 2 new ones from british Atlantic and they lock great now.
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  #8  
Old December 29th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley View Post
Mabye its the latch itself, take off all the seals and then close it and try opening to the partial setting your talking about, if it does it again and was fully closed than you should look into buying a new latch, I bought 2 new ones from british Atlantic and they lock great now.
This is indeed what I did and exactly what happened. Looking for the new latches on their site now.
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  #9  
Old December 29th, 2010, 10:52 PM
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Jim Cheney
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On station wagons that don't have bulkheads (i.e. NAS ones) its also important to make sure that the tub side isn't flexing inward when you slam the door closed. If someone has removed the brackets between the roll cage and the tub sides, or if the bolts have come out, then there is nothing supporting the tub/roof sides and they don't form a rigid door jam by themselves.
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  #10  
Old December 29th, 2010, 11:13 PM
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After burning out 2 stock defender switches I did a temporary fix that works great. Go to a local hardware store and get a simple toggle switch for about $10. I did this and it has worked great for a couple of years now. The toggle switche's threads even thread into the existing threads on the steering column. The only thing with this set up is the head lights are always on when the engine is running and the light switch turns on / off all the running lights (exterior and interior) but it all works find and is not burning out the switch. Eventually I do want to get a new defender switch again and rig it with a relay but this works fine for now.
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  #11  
Old December 30th, 2010, 12:07 AM
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sloan
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Thats crazy! I just picked up my first D90 yesterday and on the way home the door flew open and I tried several times to get it to keep shut to no avail so i drove down the road holding it closed. "LOL" Thanks for the info! I'm also in the market for a soft or hard top if anyones got one for sale. Warmest regards
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  #12  
Old December 30th, 2010, 01:00 AM
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Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester View Post
Thats crazy! I just picked up my first D90 yesterday and on the way home the door flew open and I tried several times to get it to keep shut to no avail so i drove down the road holding it closed. "LOL" Thanks for the info! I'm also in the market for a soft or hard top if anyones got one for sale. Warmest regards
I know the feeling. Except my drive was 900 miles and into the snow pictured in my avatar, 2 days before xmas. In the middle of the night. I couldn't figure out why there was such a draft (and no heater) so I unpacked my backpack and lined the inside of the door with clothes. Thanks god the Hellas worked, the headlights were a surprise as I got rolling and the sun went down.

Rufus - the headlights are working great now. On the end of the wiring harness into the switch there is a bridge for the brown wire that was not working. It should have connected two contacts but wasn't. Added a touch of solder to make sure there was a good connection and everything works great now. Thanks for the info, though.

Neil - Did you have to call for the latches? I couldn't find the parts I'd need for a Defender on their site.

Jim - I could see how that section could flex, but it looks good to me. The supports are in place and seem sturdy. I'm really feeling like the problem is inside the door latch itself.
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  #13  
Old December 30th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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kevin
1994 D90 300tdi #730, SIII 88
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For what it's worth, I 've taken these latches apart to fix them. One common problem is that they collect dirt and after years of getting evry type of lubricant sprayed into them, they can get really gummed up. Having said that, I would say it's far easier and better to just buy replacements.
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